ABSTRACT: The study investigated Birth Order And Academic Performance Of Pupils in primary schools. The population of the study included 1321 primary four (pr. 4) pupils of 2015/2016 academic session in all public primary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area. 400 primary four pupils was the sample size selected using simple random sampling technique. Two null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The Basic Science Performance Test (BSPT) was the instrument for data collection. Data collected was analyzed using independent t-test. Findings showed that “there is a significant difference in the academic performance of pupils of first, second, middle and last birth order in basic science in primary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area”‘.
Birth Order And Academic Performance Of Pupils
Based on the findings it was recommended that parents should debunk the sentiments among the birth order of pupils and government should provide quality and quantity materials for effective teaching of pupils in primary schools, to ensure effective academic performance among pupils.
1.1 Background to the Study
People are intrigued by the fact that children of a family behave differently although they were raised in the same environment, such as neighborhood; share the same genetic pools from both parents. On top of behaviors, siblings do differ in terms of personality characteristics, intelligence, familial sentiment and others. First born are always described as being responsible high achievers and perfectionists, whereas lastborns and only child are always described as the baby of the house and are mostly spoiled kids (Tshui, 2013). Based on these differences, among siblings, many researchers have been attracted .over the past decades.
Generality parents are excited and anticipated about their first child and, hence, tend to be overly protective and pay more attention, investment as well as expectations on this child. However, parents’ attention, investment and expectations vary across childden. As the second child arrives in the family, the firstborns many experience dethronement and the same happens to the second born once a third child arrives and so forth. Besides, it was suggested that parental recourses that a child received decrease as the siblings size grows bigger., Therefore, every child experiences difference level of parental resources and investment as a result of their distinct birth order while these unique experiences will in turn sharpens their developmental course.
According to Ebere (2014), the family is the child’s first place of contact with the world. The child as a result, acquires initial education and socialization from parents and other significant persons in the family. Agulana (2009) pointed out the family lays the psychological, moral and spiritual foundation and the overall development of the child. Birth order comes into play as the child’s position of birth provides the opportunity and the number of people the child will meet. Ayodcle (2006) stated that the environment where a child finds his/herself goes a long way to determining his/her learning ability and ultimately their academic performance in schools.
Furthermore, studies indicate that family dynamics play an important role with regards to drug and educational outcomes for youth (Allison, 2002), Bachman, (2008), Abboh, (2005) Anyu, (2003), one theory develop by Adler (?) attempts to understand how family matters by considering the order of when a child enters a family.
Adler’s theory posited that different positions in a family birth order many correlate both positively and negatively. For instance, researchers have noted that first born children have an increased susceptibility to both drug use as well as positive educational outcomes (Laird & Shelton, 2006). Therefore, it is based on this that the study intends to examine the effect of birth order on academic performance of pupils in basic science in primary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In primary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area in Akwa Thom State, pupils have been performing leads to serious confusion among teachers, parents and even the pupils involved. This unsatisfied performance among pupils in this subject (basic science) motivates researchers to investigate on the factors responsible for the poor performance of pupils.
Hattle (2013) pointed out that academic performance of pupils in primary school can be attributed to many factors as pupils have many responsibilities arid are from deferent family background, different rent order of birth as well as different family structures. Dick (2014) observed that birth order affects the academic performance of pupils in first school leaving certificate in primary schools. This motivated the researchers to carry out this research to investigate whether birth order also effects the academic performance of pupils in basic science in primary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area?
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study was to examine the of birth order on academic performance of pupils in science in primary schools in Ukanafun. Specifically, this intends to:
(i) Compare the academic performance of pupils of first birth order and second birth order in basic science in primary schools; and
(ii) Examine whether any difference exist between the academic performance of pupils of middle birth order and last birth order in basic science in primary schools.
Birth Order And Academic Performance Of Pupils
1.4 Significance of the Study
Findings of this study shall be of increase benefit in the following ways:
- It will help teachers to adopt instructional strategies that will be favorable, to all pupils irrespective of their birth order.
- This findings will also enable educational administrators to adopt administrative process that will make leaning effective and understandable to pupils irrespective of their birth order.
- The finding will also add to the existing body of knowledge in this area, by generating more interest and expanding the scope of the study.
- The findings of this study will serve as a reference manual future researcher on topic related to birth order and performance of pupils.